How to survive the post-cookie era?

In France, web players have an obligation to provide information and collection tools (for consent or refusal) to a user browsing their site for the purposes of the use and processing of their personal navigation data…

In fact, CNIL had given time till March 31 to all French players to comply with its latest recommendations.

This specifically includes the establishment of a CMP (Consent Management Platform) which has the role of collecting User’s choices with respect to the use of various tracers installed on the Site and providing the User with a clear and unambiguous possibility to accept or reject them.

in present, The rejection rate of third-party cookies is estimated at 30-50%, that is, cookies are placed on the site on which the Internet user browses and which are operated by third-party companies. While this poses significant problems for many players on the web, it is only the first sign of the total and complete disappearance of third-party cookies in 2022. What are the implications and prospects of such a revolution? Are there any options so far?

Third-party cookies and their usefulness

Third-party cookies have been around since 1994. This 27-year-old technology has never (or almost) never been developed. Currently, despite the aging, this solution is used for a very large number of purposes:

  • Track users and analyze data to build profiles;
  • get access to browsing history;
  • perform practical ad targeting and manage distribution (capping);
  • Measure performance (visits, impressions, conversions, attribution, etc.).

Thus, third-party cookies have been widely adopted by the online advertising industry.

For advertisers, they use cookies to get to know their audience, track user journeys, and retarget them with personalized advertising.

For publishers, they use third-party cookies to know the number of impressions their pages have received, to track clicks on ads (and conversions), and to display targeted ads to their audiences.

Current context and issues

As of March 31, 2021, all actors of the French web have an obligation to give Internet users a free choice to accept or refuse the use of their personal data.

Today, most browsers already block third-party cookies. Indeed, the two most famous – Safari and Firefox – do not allow any third-party cookies on their browsers. Nevertheless, it is Chrome which is the most used browser in the world (about 66%), And many other browsers work through the open-source Chromium technology. Chrome still accepts third-party cookies, but There are plans to remove them from 2022.

Advertiser sites, like publishers, rely heavily on third-party cookie technology. In such a situation, they have to face many kinds of problems! While e-merchants will no longer be able to advertise targeted behavior (end of remarketing), publishers will no longer be able to use this technology to better monetize their audience. In addition, it becomes necessary to rethink the entire conversion and attribution system… In fact, without third-party cookies, measurement of ad performance (post-click; post-view) becomes impossible.

Solutions in the post-cookie era

contextual targeting

Socio-demographic targeting

Returning to the privileged targeting of traditional media? This is one of the solutions that is being seriously considered. Socio-demographic targeting is widely used by television, radio, newspapers… and will likely (re)become the preferred target of the web. Indeed, in the times when third-party cookies disappear and there is practical targeting with them, Contextual targeting appears to be one of the most effective options.

To achieve contextual targeting, advertisers rely on thematic and/or socio-demographic elements. For example, an e-merchant selling motorcycle equipment may want to display their advertisements on the media on this topic, or may want to bring together socio-demographic groups on the media who are likely to like or ride a motorcycle.

Artificial intelligence in the service of contextual targeting

Artificial intelligence is taking an increasingly important place in our lives and digital devices. Nowadays, Very efficient algorithms are able to read the material and guess the topic mentioned in the page/article. This technology will allow advertisers to continue using programmatic and display their ads on a wide variety of sites.

For example, some informational sites (publishers) work on multiple topics and attract different types of audience. Thus, advertisers will be reluctant to work with this type of publisher, as their display campaigns will be seen by audiences that do not fit their targeting, and their CPMs will be difficult to manage.

Thanks to artificial intelligence and semantic analysis, publishers can offer advertisers to display their ads on their pages/articles that cover the topic of their targeting. For this, the sale and purchase of ad space will happen through a programmatic platform and the existing auction system may continue, so as to guarantee a more attractive ROI.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox

You might think that if Google removes cookies from its Chrome browser, it is because it is under pressure from people who have already deleted them and it wants to follow in their footsteps… but in reality, Google has got a setback and will take many benefits from it.

For several years, the American giant has been working on a new project: Privacy Sandbox. Third-party cookies disappear… but first-party cookies do not! And Google has the world’s largest database of first-party cookies. In fact, there are many users of Google’s tools, and most are logged into their own accounts. Thus, despite the disappearance of third-party cookies, Google is able to analyze the behavior and tastes of Internet users who use its products.

If you are an advertiser and want to do hyper-targeted advertising (unique ID), it will become impossible. Still, Google created FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts). Thus, as an Internet user using Google’s products, you will no longer be targeted as a unique individual, but rather Google will put you in a group of users who have similar interests to you.

Thus, advertisers will be able to use Google to target their campaigns and reach categories of Internet users interested in their products. For publishers, they will be able to sell their ad space at attractive prices to advertisers.

Although this solution sounds interesting to the three Internet players (advertiser, publisher and Internet user), Google becomes even more necessary and further strengthens its dominance over the independent web (also known as OpenWeb).

At the time of writing this article, FLOCs are not available in France. Cause ? This resolution does not fall under the jurisdiction imposed by RGPD and CNIL. So the French players should – for the time being – look for other options.

Web push notification, an option in a cookieless world

Why Use Web Push Notification in the Cookieless Era?

Staying as close to your audience as possible… Here are the things that inspire advertisers today. At a time when behavioral targeting, as we know it by now, will disappear, performance remarketing outside GAFA also runs the risk of losing significant reachability. So how exactly do you reach Internet users who know your products and who have already visited your site? Email marketing is at the heart of most e-merchants’ digital strategy. Actually, receiving emails is done in different ways:

  • Creation of an account and / or purchase of a product;
  • subscription to a newsletter;
  • registration for an event;
  • download a resource;
  • ,

Thus, when an e-merchant receives an email address, it can be certain that the person who receives its message will be receptive.

Thus, emailing is a very effective retargeting solution. About 1 to 2% of visitors to a website give their email address and can therefore be contacted again.

Web push notification works similar to email because every notification sent will reach the target audience. In fact, in order to obtain consent to receive notifications, an Internet user must browse the advertiser’s site. On the other hand, it is an average of 15% of internet users who will give their consent compared to 1 to 2% for email!

Thus, e-merchants using web push technology see a higher contact base than those who email in just a few months!

Web Push Notification is an innovative and efficient communication format. This technology is managed by the browser and the user’s OS. This means that it is displayed on-screen and is completely cookie-free. An Internet user who has subscribed to web push notifications does not need to be on a specific site to receive the notification!

As we saw earlier, about 15% of site visitors subscribe to web push notifications. This is because it is possible to customize the collection template! This format is displayed on-screen, and 100% RGPD compliant with the user’s clear archive not adblockable! Other benefits derive from this format:

  • 100% controlled marketing pressure (as opposed to performance and behavior targeting);
  • Ad fraud impossible (transient and on-screen formats);
  • brand image control (advertising is not displayed on the site);
  • Redirects the customer to the chosen landing page with just one click.

Thus, this cookie-free communication format becomes a de facto lever for customer activation for all advertisers who want to capitalize on their audience and gain control over their retargeting campaigns.

More efficient in all respects than emailNotification is becoming an essential element for all advertisers who want to continue to retarget their site visitors in a cookie-free era with a complementary format to email marketing.

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